Froome vows to race on, despite probe

Chris Froome

After speaking to press, Froome then rolled out for the start of the first stage of the Ruta del Sol, a lumpy 197.6km stage from Mijas to Granada.

BC-CYC-Ruta del Sol-Froome, 187Froome returns to racing despite doping investigationEds: APNewsNow.

Froome added: "I know I haven't done anything wrong and I intend to show that". But the reaction of other riders suggests that the presence of the four-time Tour de France victor in the five-day race through Andalusia may provoke some resentment in the peloton.

Brailsford declined to comment on whether Froome or Team Sky were footing the legal bill but was bullish in his support of the team's star rider.

Froome's participation has drawn criticism after a urine sample he provided showed twice the permitted amount of the asthma drug salbutamol in his system during last year's Vuelta a Espana, which the 32-year-old won.

International Cycling Union (UCI) president David Lappartient said last month that Team Sky should voluntarily suspend Froome until the investigation is complete.

"It's the first race in the build-up to the Giro now and it's good to be back racing", Froome said.

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"They were all racing in the meantime until they got to the end of their processes".

"I do believe that when all the facts are out there I think people will see it from my point of view", Froome said. "We're going as fast as we can on it and hopefully get it resolved as soon as possible".

Salbutamol is not a banned substance, but Froome will be subject to a sanction if no legitimate physiological explanation for the finding is provided.

Despite the uncertainty, Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford said it was "not difficult" to put Froome in the race as he is "100% sure there's been no wrongdoing".

Froome took advantage of hours in the saddle to talk to members of the peloton about his failed test and why he chose to ride here, including a lengthy period riding alongside the Spaniard Mikel Landa, one of his biggest rivals.

"This part of the process should be confidential let's not forget, and he hasn't got an anti-doping rule violation against him - that needs to be taken into consideration".

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